“Oh no, not this thorny old subject again” I hear you say. Surely it’s been done to death. Everybody knows about the Sun boycott and why we actually refuse to have anything to do with it. Or do they? Unfortunately more and more Liverpool fans are buying the Sun. It’s a hard thing for me personally, and I’m sure thousands of others, to accept but it is a fact. Who are these people breaking the boycott? Well, not to beat about the bush and also not wishing to upset anybody but they are, from what I’ve seen, mostly nouveau fans and OOT’s. I never have had and never will have any problem whatsoever with OOT’s, in fact I have been one of their most vigorous champions but I’m sorry, if you want to break a 16 year long boycott then I suggest you go elsewhere to watch your football. I have seen some Scousers with the Sun too and that is harder to take than nouveaus and OOT’s with it. My idea of dealing with is to burn any copy I see a Liverpool supporter holding. Unfortunately it wouldn’t go down too well to set anything alight in a football stadium or aeroplane so I go for the next best option and tell the people involved exactly what I think of them and their attitude. Do these people know about the boycott? Some of the “talk to them and educate them” brigade seem to think they don’t. Of the last four people I’ve had a go at after seeing them reading the rag I know for a fact that at least two of them did as their “explanation” for reading it was “It was the only British paper they had left.” Well I’d rather read the back of a cornflake packet in Turkish than have anything whatsoever to do with the Sun but the “explanation” intimates yes that they knew about the boycott and the reasons why but they were going to read it anyway. Why do they do this? Surely they know that by having anything to do with the Sun they are sullying the memories of 96 dead football fans, and our fans at that.
What of the nouveaus, OOT’s and Scousers alike who are supposedly ignorant of the boycott and the reasons why? To me, that’s just a load of old bullshit. As far as I’m concerned there has been enough publicity about the boycott and the reasons why to make even the thickest of thickos aware of it no matter who they are, their age or their geographical location. People must surely be aware of it even if they’ve never attended a match. For those who have attended even one match they must surely have seen thousands of people wearing “Don’t Buy The Sun” stickers produced and distributed by the marvellous people at the Hillsborough Justice Campaign. Don’t they realise why those people are wearing those stickers? Don’t they realise why ordinary Liverpool fans, the HJC and the Hillsborough Family Support Group go to such lengths to urge people to boycott the Sun? Trevor Hicks and his successor as chairman of the HFSG, Phil Hammond, have always said they would never have anything to with the Sun, Mr. Hammond most notably making a positive statement about it during his speech at this year’s Anniversary Memorial Service. Mr. Hammond looked positively embarrassed to even be in the company of Graham Dudman on his much publicised, televised, trumpet blaring fanfare visit to Liverpool to try to get the HFSG to urge people to stop the boycott. Good on the people of the HFSG to come to the right decision, the only decision, and send Dudman on his way home sulking with his tail clamped firmly between his legs. As for the people at the HJC such as Gerry McIver, Sheila White, Ann Williams and Pete Carney and the families connected to the HJC they refused to even see Dudman. Good on them for that too. So if it’s good enough for the HFSG, the HJC and many thousands of ordinary Liverpool fans why is it not good enough for those who break the boycott?
Because of our success in winning the European Cup and the inestimably higher profile it brings the club we will be getting many thousands of nouveaus and a broadening of our fan base. It falls to us, the activists in this boycott, not to give them a chance of using the excuse of ignorance whether it’s true or not. We must hammer home the message that this boycott MUST continue to protect the memory of the 96 and the good name of our supporters accused so disgracefully by the Sun of robbing our own dead and urinating on and assaulting policemen trying to come to the aid of the injured and dying.
YES, THAT’S WHAT THE SUN CALLED THE TRUTH! YES, THAT’S WHY I HATE THE SUN WITH A WILL AND A PASSION! YES, THAT’S WHY I’M SO PASSIONATE ABOUT THIS SUBJECT AND WHY I GIVE SHORT SHRIFT TO ANYBODY ASKING ME TO JUST TALK TO BOYCOTT BREAKERS IN A BID TO “EDUCATE” THEM! YES, THAT’S WHY I WILL NEVER TAKE ANY OTHER STANCE ON THE SUBJECT.
I love Liverpool Football Club. I love Liverpool Football Club supporters, their spirit and everything they stand for. I love the wit and the songs. I love the banners. That is why I get so upset at the Sun sullying our name. It’s like a family – if you harm my son you’ve got me to answer to. Liverpool supporters are my sons, brothers, sisters and grandchildren.
Please be pro-active, visit the HJC shop and get as many rolls of “DON’T BUY THE SUN” stickers you can get hold of. Pass a couple of quid or so to the fund for the stickers. Please then give these stickers to as many people as you possibly can at the first few matches, friendlies and League games, next season so that NOBODY can come up with the ignorance excuse. Please, if you see any Liverpool supporter with a copy of the Sun rip it out of their hands and THEN explain why you’ve done it. If we all do our bit then the word will spread to such an extent that NOBODY will be able to claim ignorance and if they do then read the Sun it’s because they are ignorant (in a “couldn’t give a shit” way) bastards.
Let’s not forget either that the boycott is not solely confined to Liverpool supporters. Even a lot of our fiercest rivals (and I mean Everton NOT Manchester United; Everton will always be our fiercest rivals) refuse to buy the Sun because of the lies they told about fellow Scousers, fellow football supporters. A lot of Manchester United fans I know also refuse to buy the Sun for the same reason that they sullied fellow football supporters. The boycott has even spread to Newcastle University where some Reds there were vociferous in their condemnation of the Sun. Good on those lads. Good to on Newcastle supporters I know who refuse to buy the Sun in support of us. Good to on Southampton supporters who asked me what my sticker was all about when I was in the pub near St. Mary’s after the game there this season and vowed never to buy the Sun again in support of us. The same also goes for Portsmouth supporters I’m friendly with. If we can get this kind of support from fans of other clubs why can’t we get it amongst SOME of our own. There is a saying that ignorance is bliss but in this case ignorance is a lie.
Remember that at the time of Hillsborough the people of Merseyside were hated by the government of the time and most of all by its leader, Margaret Thatcher. Remember that we got the tag of being a shower of lazy bastards by the Tory party’s very own Mr. Norman Tebbitt who told us that there were jobs out there, it was just that we were too lazy to go out and get one and we should just get on our bikes and look for work. Well Mr. Tebbitt, a lot of us couldn’t even afford a bike! Remember at the time of Hillsborough that we were slap bang in the middle of 18 years of Tory misrule. Perhaps that’s why the Sun thought they were justified in vilifying Scousers with their terrible lies. Perhaps they thought that as everybody hated Scousers anyway they could get away with their “THE TRUTH” front page lies. Perhaps they thought the government would back them. Remember this was a general attack against Scousers not just the people at Hillsborough. The Sun called us thieves, drunkards and hooligans. Remember about us – Scousers. They said it about you, me, your sister, your Granny, your Dad, your Mum and your mates. They said it about the woman next door and your 15 year old brother who hadn’t even been born then because they said it about US - Scousers, not just one particular set of people.
It matters not whether you’ve been going the match 50 years or 5 minutes – if you want to call yourself a Liverpool supporter DON’T BUY THE SUN!